Starting Salus University directly after completing my undergraduate degree, I knew that being a professional graduate student would be different. Throughout my time exploring graduate schools as well as from my visit and interview here at Salus University, I knew that graduate school was going to be more “hands-on” and more “applied” than undergrad. As reiterated during Orientation week, the goal of graduate school to become a professional. Prior to starting my coursework, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what we would do in class and what the assignments would look like to help me meet that goal.
Now that the semester is well underway, I realize that graduate school is not just about sitting in lecture and memorizing and understanding lots of material, as was the case in most of my undergraduate classes. To be an effective practitioner, across all programs offered at Salus, other skills must be learned, too. It is in this sense that graduate school teaches you how to be a professional. In other words, graduate school is job training, where we build upon, apply to, and use the knowledge we have obtained in a practical way. The classroom work is preparation for, and an essential companion to, the clinical fieldwork that will we be completing in later semesters.
Coming from a fairly large state university focused on the health sciences and talking to friends there already in their respective health graduate programs, I expected certain logistical differences between undergrad and grad school once I began my career at Salus. Of course, all programs and all schools vary, but from my conversations, I expected that my classes would be structured such that all students in my program year would be with me in each class; that all of my classes would be held in the same building; that the classes would meet less frequently throughout the week; and that I would complete many projects and presentations, including group projects. No longer would I take classes from a wide variety of disciplines, scampering from one end of campus to the other to make it to the next building in time for the next 50-minute class, where there I would often only know a fraction of my classmates. This different school structure I was told about has been true and has provided very beneficial learning experiences.
As a first-year Occupational Therapy (OT) student, my class consists of 50 students. We are in class with each other for all of our courses, except we split up into smaller groups for labs. Through this set up, we really do have the opportunity to get to know each other. Additionally, the claim about group work has rang true as well. Often times, in class, we have discussions in small groups and also have class-wide discussions. This interactive format helps us to learn by collaborating with each other and sharing different perspectives, which are important aspects to our future careers in healthcare. During our lab time, we complete hands-on activities. We also have many group projects assigned outside of class that make up a large part of our grade. Working in teams, communicating, and respectfully sharing ideas are all necessary professional skills we must develop and the classroom set-up as well as the assessments foster these attributes.
Another note about class scheduling- for the Occupational Therapy program, we only have about two classes per day, and we only have each class once a week. This means that when we are in each class, the class is several hours long. At first, when I heard that this is how many graduate programs are set up, I wasn’t sure how I would like sitting in the same room concentrating on one subject for such a long time, especially if the class was strictly a lecture, as I didn’t prefer this type of class schedule in my secondary school years. However, despite having long classes, from the start of my first week at Salus, I have gotten so much out of these classes for several reasons. First, because the classes are interactive, whether through discussions, group work assignments, or through the professor asking questions throughout the lecture, being in one class for one block of time has kept my attention and stimulated my thinking. Additionally, having a larger block of time allows for completion of more hands-on activities which allows us
to hone in on skills that will be needed as a professional occupational therapist. During our time in the College of Education and Rehabilitation (CER) Lab, we work in pairs at different stations completing different tasks in order to assess the skills needed to perform such tasks – such as putting beads on a string to assess a preschool educational benchmark relating to patterning. We’re usually given short five to ten minute breaks periodically to break up the time and allow us to get up and stretch our legs, so the class feels like it is divided into smaller time frames. Lastly, our classes are scheduled back-to-back, with a lunch hour in between, which makes for an efficient day. The classes are engaging, and I’m surprised by how quickly the time has passed when we reach the end of each class.
The logistics of graduate school have met my expectations and I have seen the benefits of why graduate school is set up this way. Having longer class times with our entire class enhances our learning, and takes us one step further in becoming a professional.
- Kaylin is a first-year occupational therapy student at Salus University
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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018
No matter the age, or how professional the schooling, the first day at a new University will always be scary. Stepping into Orientation week at Salus University, I didn’t know what exactly to expect. I was nervous to start professional school far from home where I knew very few people. Of course, I was also extremely excited to finally be here after working so hard for the opportunity to pursue a career in my dream profession, but I was still anxious. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one, as I could tell early on during Orientation week that many of these students and future health professionals were feeling equally as restless.
The first day was full of congratulations from faculty, welcomes from staff, and introductory ice breakers shared between students. Between the excess of important information and words of wisdom thrown our way, we left feeling possibly more overwhelmed than before we arrived.
However, with each passing day of the week, the academic building became more navigable, the faces on campus became a little more familiar, and the University felt more recognizable. The optional evening activities also helped to lift some of the stress of the week, with Trivia Night and a trip to Dave and Buster’s allowing friendships among peers to form.
Over the course of the week, we learned what it means to be a part of Salus University and also what it means to be invested in a greater health profession society. Being enrolled in professional school and pursuing a career in an admirable field inspires each student to hold themselves to a higher standard. Our week concluded with the ultimate symbolic representation of what it means to be a part of this professional community: the White Coat Ceremony.
On Friday afternoon, when more than 300 new Salus students stood together at the Kimmel Center proudly wearing our white coats, I couldn’t help but appreciate the magnitude of this moment. We are all from different geological locations. We are all at different stages of our lives, some of us married, with kids, engaged, or newly graduated. We are all from different backgrounds, have different stories, and have different paths that lead us to where we are now – but we are all here and all dedicated to the same mission: a passion for healthcare, a commitment to professionalism and a desire to help others. While it may just be a piece of clothing, the white coat symbolizes all of this and more, and the ceremony was a beautiful way to end our Orientation week while representing the start of our professional journey.
As classes pick up this week and the possible stress of the program heightens, I hope to remind myself of this important moment whenever times get rough. It will certainly be a challenging four years but I know this commitment to healthcare and helping others is what will make it all worth it in the end.
-Olivia is a first year optometry student at Salus University
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Going to school in the summer was and still is a huge adjustment for me. My days no longer start whenever I decide to roll out of bed. They start at 6/6:15 a.m. with 8 a.m. classes or clinic shifts at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute almost every day. In comparison to the spring and fall semesters, summer semester consisted of less classes, but increased classwork and hours in the clinic. We now have half day clinical shifts on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and full day shifts on Tuesday and possibly Thursday (if you get the morning and afternoon shift). The first week of the semester started on a Monday with class from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The next day I had my first shift in clinic which happened to be a full, seven and a half hour shift. My clinic partner and I were eager to start but nervous to be one of the first groups seeing patients. At this point in our Doctor of Audiology education and future careers, we were credentialed in more audiologic measures than before. This allows us to do and perform more during in-patient appointments. I was anxious but excited to start applying my knowledge and showing off my skills in appointments.
With proper time management and lighter weeks, I was and am still able to spend some weekends down the shore with my friends and family. During the weeks approaching a shore weekend, I am doing my best and working my hardest to get as much as I can done so I am able to fully enjoy my time down the shore. I don’t want to spend my time relaxing on the beach worried about everything I still have to get done or study for when I get home. I know I will always have work to do when I come back, but the less I have to do, the better. Summer session has taught me a lot about time management and sacrifice. Working and using my time efficiently during the week has given me the opportunity to spend some weekends with the people I love in the place I love. But, I can’t always be there when my friends are because school is my top priority. Being an audiologist has been my dream since I was a little girl. Everything I am doing now, all the time and effort I am putting into my school work, will benefit me in the long run.
-Marisa is a second year audiology student at Salus University
Monday, August 13, 2018
Nothing brings together a couple of strangers trying to navigate a new school and city like a good restaurant. Here at Salus, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by so many local cafes, restaurants, and bars. Starting graduate school, the first thing you need to know is where your closest coffee shop is located. For those early morning lectures, stop by the White Horse Coffee Creamery for a cup of coffee and something sweet. If you’re in a rush, the Daily Grind is just minutes from the Elkins Park campus. For those late night cram sessions, most big chains are open later, and, fortunately, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
The best time of the day is dinner, and the options are endless. If you’re want something quick, grab some Chipotle or Jules Thin Crust Pizza. But if you have some time, and you just finished a big exam, grab some friends and head on over to Iron Hill Brewery in Huntingdon Valley or Chestnut Hill or Bernies in Glenside – both just a few minutes away. In the summer, the outside patio at Iron Hill is the perfect local spot for a class social. Another all-time favorite for Salus students is Drake Tavern, and they’ve got specials every day of the week! The list of restaurants near Salus University are endless and you’ll always find something to satisfy your cravings.
- Niki is a third year optometry student at Salus University
|Photo Credit: Bernie's Glenside|
- Niki is a third year optometry student at Salus University
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
My name is Sonia Panchal and I am a first year student at Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Living so close to Philadelphia means there is never a dull weekend. There is so much to explore--cool restaurants, interesting museums, historical sites, and the whole center city area to name a few things. This city is filled with many attractions that are perfect for college and graduate students.
One of my favorite sites I have visited in Philadelphia is Magic Gardens located on South Street. It is an entire three city lot- span of unique artwork created by the mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar. The site consists of both an indoor gallery and a large outdoor mosaic “maze” with staircases, walls, and arches made entirely of various mosaic tiles and objects. I recommend going on a warm sunny day so you can appreciate how incredible the outdoor mosaic is put together.
|Photo Credit: Philadelphia Magic Gardens|
Magic Gardens is a popular tourist site, especially in the summer when they host movie nights, socials, and lavish ticketed events with live bands and food. You could spend a good few hours here just looking at all of the mosaics pieced together with unique objects such as kitchen utensils, parts of bikes, dishware with Latin American art, and other colorful items placed on the walls. Many people come to take pictures in front of the art and look for hidden words and symbols on the tiles.
Another bonus of visiting this unique art exhibition is that Magic Gardens offers student discounts! ($8.00 admission if you present your student ID). I highly recommend checking it out!
Thursday, November 9, 2017
My name is Marisa Fassnacht, and I am first-year student in the Salus University Osborne College of Audiology. I went to Temple University for my undergraduate school and received a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. Fortunately, I knew that I wanted to study audiology going into college.
I have been involved in audiology almost my entire life. I was born with a growth called a cholesteatoma in my left ear in front of my eardrum. It was not found until I was about 7 or 8 years old. I had one surgery to remove the growth, and a second to put prosthesis in place of the bone that I lost. Since then, I have always wanted to become an audiologist. My main goal is to help children who may be experiencing hearing difficulties like I have in the past. I want to relate my story to them, so they will feel comfortable sharing their worries and triumphs with me while growing and developing with their hearing disabilities.
So now that we are properly acquainted, let me bring you into a day in the life of a first-year Doctor of Audiology graduate student.
6:30 a.m. I usually start off the day by pressing the snooze button about three times.
7:00 a.m. I check my phone, going through my Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and e-mail. Then, I roll out of bed (finally) and get myself together.
7:30 a.m. Breakfast! Probably my favorite thing to make besides eggs benedict – Ezekiel toast with avocado and an over-easy egg on top. While cooking my egg, I pop a K-Cup into my Keurig and select the biggest cup setting possible (because coffee=survival). I re-check my class schedule on Typhon (our online clinical scheduling portal) just to make sure nothing has changed. After this, I relax while I eat and watch an episode of Friends on Netflix (my favorite TV show ever).
7:50 a.m. After inhaling my breakfast, it’s time to pack up and head out to school. I always make sure I have my ID, laptop, lunch and coffee before I leave the house. I commute to school, so I always try to give myself about 45 minutes to get to there. My route to school is pretty easy; thankfully, I don’t have to take any major roadways.
8:20 a.m. I arrive at school and grab a great parking spot right in the front. If you get to school any later than 10 a.m., you either have to park in “Guam” or tail anyone that looks like they’re pulling out of a spot.
I like to get to campus early to give myself time to drop off my lunch in my locker, get to the classroom and set up my laptop. When I get situated, I pull up the lecture needed for the class and chat with my friends.
9:00 a.m. Class time - from now until 11:00 a.m., I’m in Molecular and Cellular Processes.
11:15 a.m. I’m just hanging in the classroom doing some school work or a collaborative study, as well as eating lunch with my friends. We’ll stay here until we have to head to lab or clinic.
12:45 p.m. I’m heading over to the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) for clinical. From now until about 5 p.m., I’ll be observing and interacting with patients in their hearing appointments with my faculty preceptor.
5:00 p.m. Time to head home, but first: traffic!
5:45 Dinner time! Honestly, it’s my favorite part of the day. I love coming home after a long day to a great home cooked meal and hanging out with my parents. It’s nice to catch up and see how their days were.
6:15 p.m. I get changed into comfy clothes and start another round of homework and studying. Homework and studying takes about four to five hours depending on my upcoming schedule of assignments combined with exams.
11:30 p.m. *Belly flops onto bed because my bed is the greatest thing ever, and I missed it!* At this point, I’m exhausted and ready to go to sleep. I settle in, check my social media for a little, and watch some vlogs and tutorials on Youtube of one my favorite Youtubers (Sarah Day, Jaclyn Hill, Chelsea Trevor, and Danielle Mansutti to name just a few). I think about upcoming classes, clinic and assignments, but then I feel my eyelids getting heavy and I’m out. Grad school will do that to you!
-Marissa is a first year audiology student at Salus University
Friday, September 8, 2017
|Orientation in the Hafter Center|
What should have been an hour wait, felt like mere minutes. Students poured into the Hafter Center dressed professionally and ready to become graduate students of a heath profession. Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, President of Salus University, greeted us and offered inspirational advice on becoming great healthcare professionals. He stressed empathy, which I found to be a very insightful tip that I hadn’t previously considered.
|Dave & Buster's in the |
Plymouth Meeting Mall
While it was nice to spend our days in orientation, it was wonderful having the after-orientation events. These included trivia and a trip to Dave and Busters. I was quite worried for trivia, as it was entitled, “Pop Culture Trivia” and I know very little to nothing about this topic. All and all my team didn’t do too shabby. It was a great way to interact with our classmates and make some new friends. Dave and Busters was a great time too -- their Dance Dance Revolution machine was far harder than we had anticipated but we made it out alive. Just as my card ran out, I miraculously hit 1,000 tickets. It was a nice end to a long day!
|President Mittelman speaking at |
theWhite Coat ceremony
|White Coat Ceremony |
at the Kimmel Center
~ Sabrina is a first year optometry student at Salus University